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A
"the craftsman snow blower was fixed and became more powerful than my sno-tek snow blower i had just purchased last year. the reverse doesn't work anymore but" who cares! it's more powerful!!

-son N.

A
"Well. There was some time delay in getting in touch with the company, but it is winter and they had many machines to fix with all the snow we've had lately." They came to pick up the blower and they dropped it off too ($50 extra for that service). He repaired the blower and educated me on how such power equipment needed to be cared for and how gasoline works and it's effect on carburetors over time. The machine is fixed and ready for the next snow storm or ready for being idle until next winter.

-Martin H.

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Local Articles in Boston

Lawn mower repair

The average suburban lawn mower is a true workhorse, but you might not be maintaining it as well as you should. Here are some practical tips on troubleshooting common problems, how to make some lawn mower repairs yourself and how to maintain your mower so it keeps performing well year after year.

trimming weeds
Lawn & Yard Work, Landscaping, Lawn Fertilization & Treatment, Lawn Irrigation, Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair, Landscaping & Lighting, Landscaping - Hardscaping & Pavers, Landscaping - Lakefront, Roto-Tilling, Tree Service

Ready to get your hands dirty? It's time to say goodbye to Old Man Winter and reacquaint yourself with Mother Nature ...

Even if you winterized your mower last fall, it’s a good idea to give it an inspection and tuneup come spring, to keep it running smoothly all season. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michael L. of Washington)
Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair

Want to keep your mower going as long as the grass is growing? Follow these mower maintenance instructions.

Gas-powered lawn mower
Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair

Need a new lawn mower? Before you buy, learn what you need and how much a new riding lawn mower, reel, electric and self-propelled lawn mower will cost you.

Regular, preventive maintenance will prolong the life of your lawn mower. (Photo by Katie Jacewicz)
Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair

Proper lawn mower maintenance can keep it running longer. Whether it's sharpening blades or getting a professional mower tuneup, follow these maintenance tips.

Angie's Answers

?

The only time a carburator needs replacing is if you put some really corrosive cleaner in it that ate through the metal (usually aluminum), or if you have physically broken it.

Otherwise, carbs can be rebuilt - rebuild kits (that contain basically all the non-metallic parts, the primer bulb (usually) and carb gaskets) typically run $10-25. A tuneup (carb rebuild and new spark plug) with parts typically runs about $60-80 ($100-150 for rider mowers), although a lot of repair shops have $45-60 spring specials. Probably needs a sharpening too - another $10-15 or so when done as part of a tune-up.

By hiring someone to do it, I presume you mean taking it to a small engine repair shop with a good word of mouth reputation, and being sure to get a dropoff receipt and estimate in writing that you carry away with you.

If it runs at all, or ran last fall, this is probably all you need.

Compare this to the cost of a new mower - for a rider mower, no comparison of course - go with the carb cleaning and rebuild. However, for a standard 20-22 inch push power mower, replacement cost is about $140-250, depending on whether you go with a Walmart special or brand name, additional $100 or so if self-propelled or bagging type.

For a 10 year old push type power mower, if it sits outside all winter or is pretty rusty, since you are not mechanically inclined I would recommend getting a new mower - something like a Sears or Murray Ohio (at Target, WalMart, etc) plain-jane mower for about $150-180 unless you have steep hills or medical issues, then get the self-propelled model. A 20 inch or even 18 inch will do fine for a small lawn; if you have several lawns or a pretty big lawn area (over say 2500 SF) then you probably want a 22 inch - the extra path width makes quite a difference in how long it takes to mow.

If it sleeps in a shed or garage and is not rusting out, I would recommend a new one if the plain jane will do it for you, otherwise if the replacement one that you would buy is over about $250 I would go with the carb overhaul and tuneup.

I would STRONGLY recommend you get a 4 cycle engine - I swear by Briggs and Stratton rather than Tecumseh or other brands. 4 cycles start much easier and are less sensitive to fuel/air mix issues, and the plugs stay clean a lot longer. 2 cycles are lighter for the same horsepower which is why you see them a lot in outboard motors that are less than about 50-80 HP and in small generators and motorcycles, but they are a lot more tempermental about starting, especially in cold weather or after a long storage.

If you pay attention to proper winter storage procedure, rebuilding the carb on the old one should last you another 5+ years. I have a Murray Ohio with 4 cycle Briggs and Stratton engine that is 33 years old, lives in an unheated shed in a northern state, and has had nothing more than annual blade sharpening, oil change every few years, and one carb overhaul and plug cleaning (and ZERO new spark plugs) in its life, and starts by second pull every spring. The key is if you store it inside in a garage to run it dry each fall (so you do not have gas in the garage, for safety reasons in case it leaks out); if you leave it outside I fill the tank to the top so moisture cannot acccumulate from moist air "breathing" in and out of the tank due to temperature changes. I do this with mower, chain saw, leaf blower, weed wacker - all start on first or second pull in the spring (and throughout the summer). If you live in an area with a lot of moisture in the winter air (ours is very dry) you might have to add Heet or Sta-Bil to the fuel can (per instructions) before topping off tank.

You will find other people who say you HAVE to run it dry each season. Their theory is that if there is no gas in it then there is no gas to collect moisture or to evaporate and turn to varnish over the winter (though that generally takes a few years of sitting to happen). My theory is if it is filled with fuel it cannot dry out and leave varnish residue to block the fuel tube screen and fuel jets, plus it does not rust metal fuel tanks by being empty. To each their own procedure.

?

No personal experience on rider mowers but some with small rider tractors, but since you have gotten no response in 5 days, here is my 2 cents worth:

 

1) read the Consumer Reports and JD Powers reviews on rider mowers

 

2) from what neighbors have told me, TroyBilt are maintenance problem and not built very rugged, Sears tend to have transmission/drive train problems, those with John Deere say they were unhappy with the price but they run well and don't have extreme maintenance costs - so sounds to me like JD is best brand out there right now.

 

3) A recommendation also from personal small engine experience and neighbors - stay with Briggs and Stratton 4 cycle engines if possible, and stay away from 2 cycle engines - they are lighter and cheaper, but have a LOT more starting problems and tend to not last as long.

?
With you not saying what this is on - could be portable device or very small rider mower - check oill level - some fancier ones on air compressors and pressure washers and rider mowers have oil monitor that shuts it off if oil pressure does not build up. Failed governor spring (rare - would be one of my last guesses) can do this, but when I had it happen the engine ran up to speed and died in only a second or two - not 8 seconds. Governor linkage usually an external metal rod with springs connecting to the carb - try watching it during the 8 seconds to see if it is yanking the throttle/choke setting back causing it to shut down. Also check to be sure not blocked by twig or leaves or such. I would check the plug after it dies - if wet then you are pretty sure you are getting fuel, if dry then maybe it is only getting fuel from manual priming or automatic choke, but then the choke is cutting out and starving the engine for fuel. IF your model has accessible automatic choke linkage (or if choke plate is accessible if you remove air cleaner), try using a long tool (not fingers, in case of backfire through carb) to adjust choke angle to see if that will make it keep running - if you can see it after taking off air cleaner, it should be staying full on for probably 20-40 seconds before it opens up wide open if temperature contr4olled type, but the engine-speed type open up as soon as engine comes up to speed. Another possibility - check air cleaner to be sure not plugged with dirt - wash (and with many models oil) per owners manual instructions. Another common problem - starts on priming or choke, but when on regular fuel flow leans out and dies due to air leak in fuel line letting air in with fuel, or dirty screen in tank not letting enough fuel in to keep it running. Also, crudded up holes in the tank cap can cause vapor lock by not letting air in to tank to replace fuel consumed - remove and take out inner liner and check holes in liner and metal cap are open so you can see daylight through them. Another possibility - look for debris, etc keeping throttle from opening up - could be idle screw jiggled loose and is set too low. Try screwing it in a half turn or so to see if keeps running - because might be starting on choke but then when choke starts opening up the idle setting is too low so throttle is not open enough to keep it running. If consistently runs 8 seconds and dies, try turning the main needle valve 1/4 turn one way, then if tht does not work back the 1/4 turn plus 1/4 turn the other way (keep track of turns so you know where initial setting is) - if one or other makes better than adjust in that range for smooth running and no flooding or leaning out when you open throttle up.
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All Lawn Mower Repair Shops in Boston

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

1 HandyTech Co.

35 Elm St
Stoughton

1HandyTech Corp.

35 Elm St
Stoughton

A & M small Engine

60 Douglas Street
Uxbridge

AAA Handy Man

2 Grover St
Salisbury

ACTION IRON WORKS CORP

1363 HOOKSETT RD

ADVANCED OUTDOOR POWER

108 MIDDLESEX ST
North Chelmsford

AJ's Small Engine Repair Service

52 Midland St
Lawrence

ALL BRANDS CORP

319 WASHINGTON ST
Brighton

ALLEN BLANCHARD LAWN MOWERS

46 POND ST
Seekonk

American Tools & Sharping Service

132 S Broadway
Lawrence

Anthony Vanaria & Sons Inc

PO Box 541113
Waltham

Antimone Landscaping

25 Palmer Ave
Saugus

ARROW SMALL ENGINE REPAIR

1 INNIS DR
Billerica

B & G POWER EQUIPMENT

1034 EAST ST
Walpole

B & R LAWN MOWER REPAIR

1085 STAFFORD ST
Rochdale

BATTERIES PLUS

173A CAMBRIDGE RD
Woburn

BENEDICT POWER EQUIPMENT

687 N BEDFORD ST
East Bridgewater

Blue Hill Power Equipment

940 Canton Ave
Milton

Bob Roy Welding

101 Clematis Ave
Waltham

Boston Lawnmower Co

233 Turnpike Rd
Westborough

BROOKSIDE POWER EQUIPMENT

48 VILLAGE CIR
Milford

C & J EQUIPMENT INC

188 MAIN ST
Wilmington

C M MUNROE EQUIPMENT

73 BAY STATE RD
Rehoboth

Cahill Lawn Care

98 Central St
Foxboro

Cason's Equipment

133 Congress Street
Lowell

CENTRAL HARDWARE

1286 RIVER ST
Hyde Park

CENTRAL POWER EQUIPMENT INC

36 BERRY ST
Fitchburg

City Power Equipment

73 Worcester Rd
Charlton

CleveS Lawn Mower Repair

164 Winthrop St
Rehoboth

Colameta Landscaping - Groton

45 Pleasant Street
Groton

Comak Bros. Inc

647 Lowell St
Peabody

Covered Bridge Outdoor Construction Corp

339 Primrose St # 1
Haverhill

CROWLEY'S POWER EQUIP INC

262A DEDHAM ST
Norfolk

Dan's Small Engine

Lynnfield/Wakefield/Reading

Dan'S Small Engine Repair

Reading/Lynnfield/Wakefield

Dick's Power Equipment

1245 Washington St
Hanover

DIXIE CHOPPER OF NH

1466 BODWELL RD

Don's Small Engine Repair

289 Winthrop St
Rehoboth

EARL'S LAWN & SNOW BLOWER RPR

16 HAMILTON ST
Saugus

Essex County Landscape Associates, LLC

14 Parker Street, Unit #1
Gloucester

FARINA'S

61 GALEN ST
Watertown

Fougere Landscaping, Inc

55 Wilson St
North Billerica

G & J Landscape

111 Baker Street
West Roxbury

G B LAX

14 BROAD ST

Gagnon Lawnmower Service

662 Mammoth Rd
Tewksbury

Garden City Landscaping

3 Douglas Ave
Beverly

GAUVIN SUPPLY CO

225 MAIN ST
South Grafton

GIBNEY SPORTING GOODS

808 MAIN ST
Worcester

h2o Irrigation

6 Main St
Kingston

Handyman Kia

327 Lowellave
Newtonville

HARDING SERVICE

16 HARRISON ST
Worcester

HINDLE'S POWER EQUIPMENT CO

237 E WASHINGTON ST
North Attleboro

Hingham Cycle

191 Beal St
Hingham

Hingham Lumber Co

165 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy
Cohasset

HOPEDALE POWER EQUIPMENT

244 S MAIN ST
Hopedale

HUDSON SMALL ENGINE

156 Lowell Rd Ste 1

Imperial Services Inc

77 Alexander Rd
Billerica

INNOVATIVE LANDSCAPE SOLUTIONS

55 Littleton rd 21 E
Ayer

J W WILBUR & SONS

121 POQUANTICUT AVE
North Easton

J&J Small Engine Clinic Inc

777 S Washington St
North Attleboro

J&J Small Engine Clinic, Inc.

777 S Washington St
North Attleboro

Julians Landscaping

303 Pleasant St
Framingham

Jungle Jim's

2100 Dover Rd

Kadet, Dr. Hessa

200 Boylston St
Chestnut Hill

kens home services

10 davis st.
Tyngsboro

Kill My Poison Ivy .com

PO Box 192
Burlington

KOOPMAN LUMBER CO

12 DOUGLAS ST
Uxbridge

LATCHFORD LANDSCAPING

PO Box 1528
East Arlington

Law Offices of Matthew T. Desrochers, P.C.

106 Main St, Suite 4
Stoneham

Lew's Emall Engines

153 Uxbridge rd
Mendon

Little Mower Shop

120 Whittier Rd
Haverhill

Mal's Tree & Landscape

675 Veterans of Foreign Wars Pkwy
West Roxbury

Marlborough Grand Rental Station

135 Maple St
Marlborough

MCLELLAN BROTHERS

158 CHELSEA ST
Everett

Metro West Lawn and Power Equipment

418 MAPLE ST
Marlborough

MIDDLETON SMALL ENGINE

73 N MAIN ST
Middleton

Midurski Bros. Landscaping Inc.

118 Cushing Street
Stoughton

MIDWAY POWER EQUIPMENT CO

92 E MAIN ST
Norton

Mike's Equipment Repair

PO BOX 525
Westford

MORGAN POWER EQUIPMENT INC

546 PLYMOUTH ST
Halifax

MORRISON'S POWER EQUIPMENT

80 LONG POND RD
Plymouth

MOWER N MORE

P.O. Box 201
Hopedale

MTE Turf & Tractor

33 THRUWAY PARK DR

MURPHY'S INC

134 EAST ST
East Weymouth

ND Landscape Inc

2 Martel Way
Georgetown

NORTHBORO POWER EQUIPMENT INC

233 TURNPIKE RD
Westborough

NORTHEAST SNO-EQUIPMENT INC

99 WASHINGTON ST
Melrose

Odd Jobs Done Right

33 Sylvanus Wood Ln.
Woburn

On Sight Lawn Equipment Repair

58 Old Meeting House Lane
Norwell

OUELETTES INC

12 W UNION ST
Ashland

OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT

24 1/2 OAK ST
Peabody

Pat Gibbs Landscaping

11 Hillsview
Canton

Patrocinio's Landscaping

15 Oran Rd.
Framingham

PC Myette Inc

120 Boston Rd
Groton

POTVIN'S SMALL ENGINE REPAIR

79 GERRISH AVE
Dracut

POWER HOUSE

145 S MAIN ST
Carver

PRECO

10 SAGITARIUS LN
Townsend

Pride Landscaping Corp

143 Bow St
Everett

PRO EQUIPMENT SVC

3 BREED AVE
Woburn

QUINCY SMALL ENGINE REPAIR INC

255 COPELAND ST
Quincy

RENTAL DEPOT

88 SPRING ST
West Roxbury

RepairClinic.com Inc

48600 Michigan Ave

Riverside Repair Co.

3 Hope Ave
Foxboro

RJC Home Improvements

B3 Al Pace Dr.
North Attleboro

RNK Home & Property Care

1103 Hooksett rd

Rob The Handyman

207 Summer St
Marshfield

Ryan's Lawns

15 Thompson Rd
Beverly

RYGIELS SMALL ENGINE REPAIR

2205 LAKEVIEW AVE
Dracut

Sal Ferro's Lawnmower Service

185 Newton St
Waltham

Schofield Power Equipment

12 Summer St
Leominster

SEARS

1325 BROADWAY
Saugus

Sears Stores Natick

1235 Worcester Rd Spleen St
Natick

SMALL ENGINE ON-SITE REPAIR

254 WASHINGTON ST
Weymouth

SMALL ENGINE SHOP INC

1265 WHIPPLE RD
Tewksbury

STATE LINE POWER PRODUCTS

271 MAIN ST
Blackstone

Steve's Lawn Care, Inc.

PO BOX 233
Arlington

STEWART'S POWER EQUIPMENT INC

670 S FRANKLIN ST
Holbrook

Superior Auto Repair

29 Groton Rd
Westford

Tatiana de Queiroz

46 Edgeworth St
Worcester

Taylor Rental

637 Andover Street

The Veron Company

112 FOREST ST
Marlborough

THOMSON'S GARDEN SHOP & LANDSCPG

61 JEFFERSON AVE
Salem

TLP Equipment

280 Milton St
Dedham

TOM'S LAWN MOWER SVC

307 ESSEX AVE
Gloucester

TOTAL SPORTS REPAIR

654 S UNION ST
Lawrence

TOWNLINE POWER

870 South Main St
Bellingham

TR POWER

347 TOWNSEND RD
West Groton

Troymade

1 summerhill ave
Worcester

VILLAGE POWER EQUIPMENT CO

244 PLEASANT ST
Berlin

Wainwright's Small Engine Service Inc

88 East Grove St
Middleboro

WAYLAND POWER EQUIPMENT Inc.

300 BOSTON POST RD
Wayland

WESTFORD POWER EQUIP & MTRCYCL

98 NUTTING RD
Westford

WINNERS CIRCLE MOTORSPORTS

275 Knowles Pond Road

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